As if Facebook birthday greetings weren't impersonal enough, now Facebook has an even more impersonal way of sending someone a birthday message: simply by texting "1" from your smartphone.
The new feature works for those who have Facebook notifications pushed to their text messaging programs. Basically, you receive a message that one of your Facebook friends is having a birthday today. To leave a "happy birthday" message on their wall, all you have to do is reply with a text that says "1."
This feature isn't really new: Facebook has slowly rolled it out over the course of the year, but by today, almost everyone using Facebook's mobile push notifications has access to this feature.
Is this way of sending a friend a quick "happy birthday" message easy? Sure, but it's also even more impersonal than the standard, boring "happy birthday" sent to a friend's wall in the usual way.
Of course, most of us rely on Facebook to remind us about all the birthdays of our hundreds of Facebook friends: there's simply no way to keep track of all these people (many we have never met in person) otherwise. Perhaps we've grown so accustomed to these reminders that we're losing our ability to remember these little things, particularly with those people closest to us, like our family and offline friends.
At the same time, though, we're also busier in this modern world of text messaging and social media, so it's nice to have those reminders and an easy way to remember the little things, like saying "happy birthday." After all, sending a text with a single digit makes it entirely too easy not to forget a birthday, right?
Maybe this video by College Humor says it best, demonstrating what might happen if people treated birthdays in our offline lives as they do on Facebook. Here's $10 for Target!
Please note the following video is NSFW.
Photo: Will Clayton | Flickr